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Why Punish?

An Introduction to the Philosophy of Punishment

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Red Globe Press

Pages: 254
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Paperback - 9781137449023

20 June 2017

€39.51

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Hardcover - 9781137449030

20 June 2017

€98.79

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Ebook - 9781137449047

16 September 2017

€40.99

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Why do we punish? Is it because only punishment can achieve justice for victims and 'right the wrong' of a crime? Or is it justified because it reduces crime, by deterring potential offenders, offering rehabilitative...

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Why do we punish? Is it because only punishment can achieve justice for victims and 'right the wrong' of a crime? Or is it justified because it reduces crime, by deterring potential offenders, offering rehabilitative treatment to others and incapacitating the most dangerous? The complex answers to this enduring question vary across time and place, and are directly linked to people's personal, cultural, social, religious and ethical commitments and even their sense of identity.

This unique introduction to the philosophy of punishment provides a systematic analysis of the themes of retribution, deterrence, rehabilitation, incapacitation and restorative justice. Integrating philosophical, sociological, political and ethical perspectives, it provides a thorough and wide-ranging discussion of the purposes, meanings and justifications of punishment for crime and the extent to which punishment does, could or should live up to what it claims to achieve.

Why Punish? challenges criminology and criminal justice students as well as policy makers, judges, magistrates and criminal justice practitioners to think more critically about the role of punishment and the moral principles that underpin it. Bridging abstract theory with the realities of practice, Rob Canton asks what better punishment would look like and how it can be achieved.

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  • Accessible introduction to the philosophy of punishment  
  • Drawing on insights from social sciences and philosophy, it combines conceptual discussion with case studies that explore the practical implications for sentencing decisions 
  • Provides recommendations and food for thought for policy makers, sentencers and criminal justice practitioners

Introduction
1. The Origins and Meanings of Punishment
2. The Purposes and effects of Punishment
3. Retribution
4. Deterrence
5. Rehabilitation and Desistance
6. Incapacitation and Risk
7. Restorative Justice
8. The Limits and Perils of Punishment
9. Rethinking Punishment.

“Canton’s work is always superbly structured and written in an accessible but engaging style that belies the depth of the material and the sophistication of the arguments … . a book for the student new to the study of criminology, the social sciences, and philosophy, and it is also a book for the seasoned practitioner, manager, and leader, as well as experienced academics; but most of all it should be read by politicians, their policy shapers and special advisors.” (Steve Collett, Probation Journal, Vol. 64 (3), 2017)
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Rob Canton is Professor in Community and Criminal Justice at De Montfort University, UK. He has worked extensively with the Council of Europe and the EU to develop penal practices in several countries and contributed to framing the European Probation Rules and the European Rules on Community Sanctions and Measures. He also acted as Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons Justice Select Committee during their inquiry into the role of the probation service.

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Rob Canton is Professor in Community and Criminal Justice at De Montfort University, UK. He has worked extensively with the Council of Europe and the EU to develop penal practices in several countries and contributed to framing the European Probation Rules and the European Rules on Community Sanctions and Measures. He also acted as Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons Justice Select Committee during their inquiry into the role of the probation service.

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